Deftones is one of the most influential Nu Metal bands in the mid-nineties. They were on their way before bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park dominated the scene. Deftones music is raw and energetic, but didn't receive as much credibility at the time it was deserved. This album is catchy and melodic and Chino Moreno's vocal style remains unique to this day.
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Robert L. Thompson III | Columbia, MO USA | 05/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Deftones are one of the pioneers of the nu-metal age. Brought to the mainstream with the help of Korn (although I'm sure they did not really need any help as talented as this band is) the Deftones unleashed the album "Adrenaline". In my mind the second most influential and important album to all those aspiring crossover artists. The first being Korn's s/t.I call the Deftones' music emo-core with more of a harder edge. The music is extremely heavy featuring thick and exquisite guitar work by Stephen, blood-throbbing bass by Chi, accentuated by steady drumwork courtesy of Abe, creating a fusillade of tempo-laden music that can be aggressive or just plain soothing. The musicians' talent is very evident on this album and Stephen, Chi, and Abe just flow so well together creating music that is special.Once again, it's not the music itself that makes this band so great but it is the songwriting and vocal talents of Chino Moreno that gives the Deftones that special edge. Chino is by far one of the most talented vocalists out there (also my favorite vocalist alongside Brian Armer-formerly of Juice) whose ability to switch from melodic crooning, to rap-singing, and hardcore screaming is nothing short of brilliant. "Adrenaline" showcases all of Chino's vocal abilities and then some, although the lyrics leave something to be desired.The album is a complete masterpiece from start to finish featuring such songs as "Bored" and "Firal" which exhibits their softer side. For pure, adulterated, aggression, check out "7 Words". "Minus Blindfold" and "One Weak" showcase the best of both worlds while "Engine No. 9" and "Root" feature that rap-metal vibe.The Deftones are my all time favorite band, not just for creating this album "Adrenaline", but for creating music that I can relate to more than any other that I have heard. And like a fine wine, the Deftones merely ripen and mature, evolving into something finer and more artistic as the years go by. The Deftones will definitely be around for a long time. June 20: Prepare for the White Pony."
"I want to be much more than more while I watch you"
Robert L. Thompson III | 02/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A hardcore-sounding metal-punk-hip hop hybrid, I can't fathom why the Deftones were initially lumped together with bands like Korn (who call them their "brother band") - the 'tones are far more intense and original. And they are anything but generic trend-hopping rap-metal. The band has been doing this since 1989! I don't see why any fan of hardcore music would dislike the Deftones, especially Adrenaline. It's a hard-edged, raw, and just plain insane piece of music. Rage comes crashing through the speakers for the entire 40+ minutes of the disc. It doesn't sound fake or forced at all. You may not be able to understand exactly what Chino is screaming about, but you can tell he's pissed off. This is the kind of stuff metal lovers dream about. There is some subtlety here, however. The band does several softer, more haunting sections in the songs to contrast with the aggression. The Deftones have a truly terrifying vocalist in Chino Moreno, who goes from unsettling whispers to horrifying screams. (Dear God, does he scream. One of these days he's going to wake up with his lungs on the pillow next to him.) Guitarist Stephen Carpenter offers simple, but direct and scathing riffs, that perfectly match this style.The brutal songs on Adrenaline are more than the best example of their style. It shoves pure rage into your face with its obnoxious and sometimes unintelligible lyrics and attitude, and is one of the most positively convincing 90s metal albums. After the first couple of listens, it sounded to me like extremely unvaried guitar riffing, weak melody and talentless screaming. But after awhile, Adrenaline opens up and reveals its strengths as a very heavy, direct, and emotionally powerful offering. Stephen Carpenter creates somehow unique-sounding riffs like the chugging opener "Bored," where the power of the band's chemistry comes together in a forceful mix, produced well by Terry Date. "Nosebleed" is a very harsh tune with truly angry and scathing, explicitly profane lyrics and hardcore energy in the music that somehow doesn't come off as merely juvenile, but as a genuine threat, and it's contrasted by a slower middle section that builds up again to the heavier verse part, all with the band remaining tight. "Minus Blindfold" is also a strong track, and an indicator that Chino is one to watch out for (or stay the hell away from, depending on your point of view). "Root," meanwhile, hints that the band is capable of expanding its creativity before this direct material could become stale in the future, featuring the most complex riff on the album and tremendous energy.The quieter moments, "One Weak" (with nice bass work and frantic vocals), the closer "Fireal" (featuring a dark and desperate atmosphere before building up to a gripping ending), and "Birthmark" are also good songs. "7 Words" is an amazing wake up call that starts off quietly with the controlled vocals in the verses (helped out by an awesome bassline) before again going into unparalleled heavy viciousness. "Engine No. 9" shows a bit of a hip hop influence in the lyrics, which makes the attitude and the screaming chorus even more effective and noticeably psycho.Of course, this IS a debut, and it shows. It often sounds underdeveloped, the production is quite raw, and the band is not as mature-sounding as they would be on later releases. Yet that's part of the fun. The reckless intensity displayed here is something they haven't captured again since (not that they're trying to). Not to mention that this record has incredible staying power. The Deftones aren't considered a band of great melody-writing power, but listen to the excellent riff of "Bored" or the haunting vocals of "One Weak" and tell me that stuff won't stick in your head for a long time to come. So is it a masterpiece? Not by a long shot, but it's essential nonetheless. Try to forget those new-metal biases, and you'll have a hell of a time. Adrenaline isn't for everyone because there is quite a bit of an obnoxious feel to it that may turn a few listeners off, and the songwriting doesn't quite sound developed to its full potential. But for classic aggression, this is an excellent record."
Rough, Unpolished, Dry
Andrew John Wilhoit III | Villa Park, IL USA | 11/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are some of the adjectives i've seen used to describe this album. Toss them out the window. I don't like when this album is overanalyzed and seen as "their rough debut." I don't classify this album any different than that of their 3 ladder cd's. This is just as good as those. This is a bit heavier but no less great. 1.Bored 9.5/10...One of their first hits ever, and this sounds alot like what was to come. With whisper to singing verses and screaming choruses. Great song. 2.Minus Blindfold 10/10...This is a new favorite. I never really listened to this song full through or never really payed attention when it was on, boy was i missing a treat. This song is great. 3.One Weak 8.5/10...This is a tad slower and a decent song. Doesn't grab my attention too much. 4.Nosebleed 8/10...Most people hate this song, and yes it does sound a bit like korn. But hey, i like korn, so i'm fine with that. Very heavy, but my favorite part is in the middle when the music stops and keeps coming back. 5.Lifter 9/10...Alot like One Weak, but better. A softer song throughout until the end when it explodes. 6.Root 8.5/10...One of the more "Nu-Metal" songs on the cd. I personally like the chorus alot, but this song is just pretty good. 7.7 Words 10/10...One of my favorites. This song has a funky kind of verse with a blistering heavy chorus. Then the bridge in the middle is priceless. 8.Birthmark 10/10...Another great song. This one reminds me of something that could be found on their self-titled. I love this song. 9.Engine No. 9 8.5/10...Alot of rapping in this one. Probably the heaviest on the cd. A little much at times but still a good song. 10.Fireal 10/10...Yet another one of my favorites. I like the second half of the song better than the first, but running in at 6:35, this song is a treat. 11.Fist 9/10...This is Chino's cure influence kicking in. A totally misleading track, extremely quiet and soft. And when you can hear Chino's voice, it's beautiful.
So don't think just because it's not overproduced or wasn't very successful doesn't mean it's great. I love popping in this and just enjoying good ole' Deftones."
"The Deftones first album "Adrenaline" is very different from the Deftones we are now used to today. "Adrenaline" is a straight-forward metal album. No experiments, no electronics or anything that the Deftones are widely known for today, just rock. This release is more in tune with "Around The Fur", which I think is the Deftones' best. This one came out in the height of the nu-metal explosion, which the Deftones were partly responsible for. Deftones were one of the first bands, beside Korn, to play what was known as "nu-metal" and they were doing it long before Korn ever got together, even though this one came out a year after Korn's debut. There was a lot of things to me that made the Deftones better than most of the other nu-metal bands out there, mainly being Chino. Chino is such a great vocalist, and I've always prefered him over others like Jon Davis and Fred Durst. Not to mention his lyrics have always been a cut above the others, not just doing the same old topics that eventually became done to death in the genre. The rest of the band isn't too shabby on their instruments either. If you're a fan of the Deftones, it's nice to see where they came from, and how they've evolved over the years.
The album opens up with one of the Deftones' classic songs, "Bored". Introducing the "soft verse, loud chorus" approach that would later become a staple for their, most other nu metal bands, material. This is where the Deftones show what they're all about. Most of the album follows this pattern, like "Lifter" and "Root". Some tend to use rapping approaches (which would become yet another staple in nu-metal) like "7 words" and "Engine #9". One of the highlights (and my favorite moment on the entire album) is on "7 Words" when the music stops just before the bridge, and Chino says "you don't know me, shut up you don't know me, squeel like a pig...", you know the rest. It's just so good before it goes back into the song. Some songs see the Deftones slowing it down a bit, and getting very melodic only to turn into fierce bursts, most notably "One Weak" and "Fireal". The untitled hidden track (which is really called "Fist") is a hauting, extremely light song which mainly features Chino mumbling and Stephen playing guitar, and is quite good once you listen to it. Most songs on the cd however see the band going to heavy route, showing their metal influence, that would later only be used in small doses. The album also features a great deal or screaming which is not nearly used as much in later albums. Compared to the Deftones releases of today, this one does not even stand up in the diversity department, because really the only thing they do different is slow down songs like "Fireal" and "One Weak". Even with the lack of diversity (which I love about the newer albums) the collection of songs on here will please any fan of the band, especially those who love "Around The Fur". Fans of new releases like "White Pony" and the self-titled might just want to check it out for nostalgic purposes. I fell in love with this album years ago, and still I find myself listening to it and loving it just the same. It's so good, and that's the way it's always been with the Deftones. Everything they've ever done has been great, and this album is no exception.
Definitely a worth while addition to any Deftones fans collection. Most won't be dissapointed with this one. I know that if you're a Deftones fan, then most likely you already own this one. However if you're someone who has recently got into the band, then don't hesitate to pick this one up and add it to your collection. The Deftones never make the same album twice, so it make "Adrenaline" even more essential. The things that made the Deftones amazing back then, are still the things that make them amazing today, and it's great to see those things in an early form. It's cool to remember when the Deftones were one of the front runners in nu-metal. Now they deny all association with the genre. However this one will always remain as one of the most influential nu-metal albums out there, and really you can't do any better."